Jay-Z :: Kingdom ComeRoc-A-Fella Records/Def JamAuthor: Steve 'Flash' JuonA short list of gross understatements for your entertainment. A lot of people are fighting for a Nintendo Wii. A lot of people are killing to get a PS3.
His retirement, announced after 2003's The Black Album, was clearly never going to happen: without music as a platform, Jay-Z would lose the chance to put other rappers in their place, something he does with relish on his comeback. On the bleakly gothic Dig a Hole, he advises the competition to "dig a hole, bury yourself" - and they might as well do it, because he's in top form on Kingdom Come. John Legend, fiancee Beyoncé and unlikely new buddy Chris Martin are among the supporting cast: Legend adds autumnal poignance to Do U Wanna Ride, Beyoncé leaves her indelible voiceprint on Hollywood and Martin and Jay are surprisingly compatible on the dreamy Beach Chair.
Jay-Z's retirement from making albums was more like a working holiday. After he announced his retirement, released The Black Album, and threw the Fade to Black party, he collaborated with Linkin Park on Collision Course, teamed with R. Kelly for the abysmal Unfinished Business, and appeared on tracks by Beanie Sigel, Bun B, Memphis Bleek, Kanye West, Pharrell, Lupe Fiasco, and Beyoncé.